Verse 1 – God miraculously appears. What a big contrast for Moses. He had been a prince in Egypt and now he was a Midianite shepherd living in the desert. This must have been a humbling experience for him. Sometimes we will feel all alone but God just might be preparing you for great leadership as in Moses case. The preparation may be some of the hardest times you ever go through, but the results will be so much greater in the reward. (Mount Horeb is another name for Mount Sinai, where God would give the law.
Verse 2 – God may use unexpected sources when communicating to us. Sometimes He uses people, or thoughts, but be willing to listen with expected anticipation.
Verses 3-4 – Many times in the Bible, people experienced God, but not in human form. Abraham saw the smoking fire-pot and blazing torch (Genesis 15:17); Jacob wrestled with a man (Genesis 32:24-29). When the Israelite’s were led from Egypt, God led them by pillars of cloud and fire. God made these appearances to encourage the reliable verbal message.
A verse 5, 6 – To stay at a distance and remove footwear was then and is now in some cultures a sign of respect and humility. Sometimes we need to adjust our attitude when approaching Holy God. How would you approach a King? Our God is not just any king, but the King of Kings.
Verse 8 – The home of the Canaanites is the land of Israel and Jordan today. Canaanite was a term for all the various tribes living in that land.
Verse 10 – When God tells you or shows you where He’s going to take you, He doesn’t always give you the “in the middle” stuff. If He did, it might scare us so bad we wouldn’t do it or go there. Moses had no idea what all he was going to go through to get his people out of Egypt, but he started making excuses anyway. Moses knew he was inadequate by himself, but God wasn’t asking him to work alone. First of all, God was with him, and then he would have Aaron, Moses brother. I don’t believe God calls people who have it all together and that have all the skills to accomplish what God wants. If He did, the person may just get a little pride on them and tell God, “I got this.”
Verses 11, 12 – Self doubt can sometimes stop us from doing what we are called to do. God said “I am with you.” Then God made a promise. On this very mountain that Moses was speaking to God, Moses would return with his people to worship the One who had delivered them. Have you ever started out in a certain place in doubt, only to return to the exact same place full of victory and adoration for being delivered? Sometimes God will use the very thing that has caused you the most heartache to bring you into an abundant blessing.
Verses 13-15 – The Hebrews had been living in Egypt for close to 400 years. These Egyptians had many gods. So you know the culture had rubbed off on the Hebrews. Moses wanted to know God’s name so when he told the Hebrews; they would know who their deliverer was. “I Am” shows the eternal power and unchangeable character of God. This same God is who lives in us today. Hebrews 13:8 says God is the same “yesterday, today, and forever.” Yahweh is derived from the Hebrew word for “I AM.”
Verse 16 – God reminded Moses of His covenant promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. What God had promised hundreds of years before, He would fulfill through Moses. God may have promised our father or grandfathers something, but it won’t come to pass until your generation or the next. It has to be in God’s timing. Don’t forget, God can not lie. He will bring His promises to pass when He has everything lined up.
Verse 17 – This phrase “flowing with milk and honey” is a picture phrase expressing the beauty and productivity of the promise land.
Verse 18, 19 – A three-day journey would be far enough away from Egypt to worship and sacrifice to God without the Egyptians being able to criticize what they were doing and be bothered by them. God knows the future and He knew what Pharaoh’s reaction would be. God knows the end result; He knows the reaction others are going to have; and this is why we can trust Him. He is not in shock or surprised when something unexpected happens to us.
Verse 20 – This clause shows cause and effect. God does something and then a result happens. “I will stretch out my hand and he will let you go.”
Verse 22 – This silver, gold, and clothing was not borrowed, it was asked for from the Egyptians and they gladly gave it. They wanted the Hebrews gone. Abraham had left Egypt the same way, (Genesis 12:16, 20 or Genesis 20:14, 16) with an accumulation of wealth that had been given to him.